Charity Meyers has only 12 hours to live.
By 2035 the rich have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer, and kidnapping has become a major growth industry in the United States. The children of privilege live in secure, gated communities and are escorted to and from school by armed guards.
But the security around Charity Meyers has broken down. On New Year’s morning she wakes and finds herself alone, strapped to a stretcher, in an ambulance that’s not moving. If this were a normal kidnapping, Charity would be fine. But as the hours of her imprisonment tick by, Charity realizes there is nothing normal about what’s going on. No training could prepare her for what her kidnappers really want . . . and worse, for who they turn out to be.
Bloor (Tangerine) shows top form with a gripping novel, set 30 years in the future, that works as both a thriller and a commentary on the dangerously growing gap between America's rich and poor. Thirteen-year-old Charity Meyers lives with her father, a dermatologist whose wealth has survived the World Credit Crash, and her stepmother, a noxious "vidscreen" personality. Despite all the precautions within the Meyers' high-security housing development, Charity is kidnapped on New Year's Day 2036-the "taken" of the title, also a chess allusion to a didn't-see-it-coming plot twist. Because child-snatching is a major growth industry in South Florida, Charity has been trained to handle the stress and she knows what should happen. Within 24 hours, her parents will empty their home vault of its currency, and she will be freed. Pacing the narrative so readers can feel the clock ticking, the author fills in Charity's back story-the ironic death of her mother to skin cancer, her days at "satschool," where education comes beamed in from an elite Manhattan academy, her home run by Albert and Victoria, the butler and maid whose very names are regulated by Royal Domestic Services. Bloor, whose gimlet-eyed view of modern society has occasionally pushed his narratives to extremes, reigns in the satire to concoct a plausible-enough scenario of the not-too-distant future, adding just the right measure of consciousness-raising in the dialogue between Charity and a teenage abductor. Deftly constructed, this is as riveting as it is thought-provoking. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information